Nepal Airlines (RA, Kathmandu) has been given the green light by its board to acquire two A330-200s to replace its outgoing B757-200s and expand its international network.
The airline will take out a loan to purchase the jets, with the Finance Ministry acting as guarantor. According to a Request For Proposals issued to all interested parties this weekend, the aircraft should be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 772Bs and should be no older than two years of age. Proposals are due by November 10, 2016, with aircraft expected to deliver in September 2017 and March 2018.
The move is part of a plan to modernise the carrier’s fleet and shift to predominately Airbus Industrie (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) aircraft. Nepal Airlines intends to use the A330-200s to open new routes to Osaka Kansai and/or Tokyo Narita in Japan, as well as Seoul Incheon in South Korea.
Other services being considered include Beijing Capital, Chengdu, Kunming Changshui, Lhasa, Shanghai Pudong, Sydney Kingsford Smith, as well as points in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Presently, the carrier operates international flights from its Kathmandu base to Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Qatar, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as domestic services.
The state-owned carrier is also undergoing a restructuring programme in order to make it an attractive entity to any would-be foreign investors.